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Marty Zylstra : ARTIST TO WATCH [Q&A]

Marty Zylstra’s music perfectly encapsulates the gentle nostalgia of a timeless era. No stranger to loss, the feeling of tragedy and longing is ever-present in the Vancouver pop-rocker’s music. His music also grasps an addictive dairy-free sense of hope that immediately lingers to listeners. His songs are simultaneously heart wrenching yet uplifting, a beautiful dichotomy that is rare to find. The actual son of a preacher man, Marty started playing music at the age of 4, singing in gospel choirs all over rural Canada. He quickly developed a taste for 60s rock and pop, heavily inspired by the likes of John Lennon and Brian Wilson. It is profoundly apparent in Marty’s sound that he is inspired by the diverse array of deeply cathartic songwriters. Some of his songs contain the charming whimsy of the 60s while others are armed with the alluring edge of the 90s. After a life-altering pilgrimage to Memphis, Marty returned to Vancouver inspired, rejuvenated and began working on what would become his debut. Marty spent the next couple years writing and recording, honing his solo sound, when a domino of tragedy struck again and again. His next EP, The Dragonfly and the Spider (2018), was heavily inspired by the losses of his sister, mother and grandfather all in quick succession. Using this unfathomable pain, Marty put together a dream-pop masterpiece, a medley of catharsis with Brian Wilson’s dreamy melodies and Tom Petty’s rock n roll swagger.

What initially made you start recording music?

I recorded my first record as therapy for severe grief experienced in the loss of my younger sister and mom. In recording and writing those songs it helped me overcome some of the darkness.

LISTEN to "The Dragonfly and the Spider"

Who are your favorite artist?

My favorite artists are the Beatles and other groups from the 60’s like the beach boys. I love 3 part harmonies and am really drawn in to that style.

When is your next project?

I’m planning on starting work on a new record in late fall! It will be more centred around the acoustic guitar and sparse production.


INSTAGRAM: @martyzylstramusic


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